Burnishing History: The Legacies of Maria Martinez and Nesta Nala in Dialogue: Part II: An Artists’ Conversation

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elizabeth A. Perrill, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: This article is the second part of “Burnishing History: The Legacies of Maria Martinez and Nesta Nala in Dialogue”. “Part I: An Historian’s Perspective” precedes this article. The following text is an edited transcription and translation representing a significant portion of a one and half hour Skype discussion that took place on July 21, 2014. The key participants, Barbara Gonzales (great-granddaughter of Maria Martinez), Jabulile (Jabu) Nala and Thembile (Thembi) Nala (daughters of Nesta Nala), are all active ceramic artists/potters. Elizabeth Perrill, with the assistance of Nozipho Zulu, brought together these descendants of Maria Martinez and Nesta Nala, two famous artists of the burnished, blackware ceramic traditions, after observing that, for at least two decades, their lineages had often been compared to one another. Part I of Perrill’s companion article in this volume historicizes this comparison and its roots in the 1980s. The conversation that follows adopts a fluid and open-ended approach; it documents a discussion between peers, the dedication of these culture bearers, and in the end, moments of intergenerational mentorship. Readers will see that some isiZulu (Zulu language) transcriptions are preserved. Some miscommunications and clarifications can be found in the text and are meant to convey the complexity, sincerity, and savvy required of those choosing to engage in intercultural and bilingual dialogue. This dialogue continues to unfold; in July 2015, Jabu Nala and Barbara Gonzalez were able to meet in person in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Additional Information

The Journal of Modern Craft, 8:3, 287-300, DOI: 10.1080/17496772.2015.1099243
Language: English
Date: 2015
Ceramics, pottery, Pueblo, South Africa, contemporary art, Zulu, San Ildefonso, Tewa

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